Blowup on ‘Christian Survey’ on Oral Sex

     NEW ORLEANS (CN) – An attorney sued Tulane University, claiming his alma mater defamed him and barred him from campus because he asked a campus police officer in a sauna whether he likes blow jobs – as part of a “Christian survey.”
     Pseudonymous plaintiff ABC sued the Board of Administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund, TUPD, and their insurer, in Orleans Parish Court.
     ABC claims he is a licensed attorney in Louisiana with 24 years experience, and has been a licensed real estate broker there for 30 years. He graduated from Tulane in 1982 with a bachelor’s in management. “Up to this point, plaintiff has an excellent reputation in the Greater New Orleans community,” he says in the complaint.
     However, “On July 19, 2012, plaintiff was conducting a survey on behalf of a Christian group,” the complaint states.
     “ABC very politely asked Officer Daniel Haase whether he wished to answer a few questions of a rather sensitive nature,” the complaint states. “ABC told him that he could decline to participate at any time. Officer Haase did not refuse. When ABC asked him Question 8 (Do you enjoy receiving oral sex?), he seemed taken aback and asked, ‘What, you mean, like a blow job?’ ABC replied, ‘Well, I guess you could call it that, yeah, a blow job.’ He said, ‘No.’ His reply was loud and definite, followed by a glare at ABC, who then terminated the interview and exited the men’s sauna.”
     (According to the exhibit to the complaint, the questionnaire asks: “1. Are you male? 2. Are you female? 3. Are you married? 4. Are you unmarried? 5. (What) is your age group? … 6. Do you enjoy sexual intercourse? 7. Do you enjoy giving oral sex? a. With a person of the opposite sex? b. With a person of the same sex? 8. Do you enjoy receiving oral sex? a. With a person of the opposite sex? b. With a person of the same sex? 9. Do you go to a place of worship to pray? … [How often?] 10. Do you consider yourself a spiritual person? 11. Are you an atheist or agnostic? 12. Do you believe in life after death?”
     (The “Guidelines” on the one-page questionnaire, “Survey on Sexual Practices and Morality,” state, inter alia, “This is an informal but scientific survey,” to be handed in by the Aug. 6, 2012 Bible Study Group Class. “The results will be used as he or the group deems appropriate in their discussions and ministry.”)
     ABC claims in his lawsuit that the Tulane police who “descended upon him like a wolf pack” him never tried to verify that he really was conducting a survey.
     The complaint states: “As ABC was packing to leave, Lt. S. Cosper and four or five officers arrived and descended upon him like a wolf pack. Lt. Cosper asked if he had used the words ‘blow job.’ ABC admitted that he had, but ABC was not allowed to explain that those ‘majic words’ [sic] were in response to a question. ABC was not allowed to clarify or explain the miscommunication or intent behind the question to Officer Haase. Lt. Cosper said that Officer Haase was not that offended and that the Reily facility wanted him out. ABC was faced with the prospect of either signing the ‘restricted presence letter’ or being detained for an indefinite period under unknown conditions and, possibly, in a holding cell.
     “ABC was not arrested, charged or indicted for saying the words ‘blow job.’ No report was issued by either the TUPD or the NOPD.
     “ABC attempted to explain these events and appeal to the judgment of Chief Richard Potts on July 22, 2012. After failing to respond to near weekly phone messages, on August 31, 2012, Chief Potts finally contacted ABC and said that the decision to maintain the ‘restricted presence’ status against him would not be reversed. He made unfounded allegations that the decision was based on ‘protecting children.’ ABC informed him that he was ‘assuming facts not in evidence’ on his part. Such
     assumptions were merely conjectural. Chief Potts would not relent saying the decision to uphold the ‘restricted presence’ status came ‘straight from Gibson Hall.'”
     Gibson Hall is Tulane’s administration building.
     ABC says he took up the matter with Tulane’s assistant general counsel, at Gibson Hall, who told him that “the decision would stand,” but that “it may be ‘reversed at some future time.'”
     “ABC has had to forgo attending many costly events at Tulane due to his ‘restricted presence’ status,” the complaint states. “He did not wish to appear escorted by an officer from the TUPD.
     “Neither Officer Haase nor Lt. Cosper is employed by TUPD at present. The survey is complete, and no further interviews will take place. There is no harm, real or imagined, which Tulane may endure due to his unrestricted presence on campus.
     “ABC avers that two factors were involved as to the time and place of the July 19, 2012 interview: (a) a need to finish the survey by its deadline, and (b) light-headedness due to the heat from the sauna which made him disregard or downgrade the relevance of the place of the interview.
     “ABC did not violate any Reily center policies. He did not engage in any ‘verbal or physical abuse of an employee or other user’ of the Reily Center (Reily Center Policies, Section A(2)). He was very polite in asking a question. No improper conduct took place, and no such conduct was anticipated. To his knowledge, no prohibitions exist on taking surveys anywhere on campus. ABC is fairly certain that students take surveys on campus as part of their routine course work. Dan Savage conducted a
     similar ‘sex and dating’ survey on campus Dec. 5 thru 8, 2012 in connection with MTV (The Tulane Hulaballoo, v. CVII, no. 11, Dec. 2, 2011, p. B1).”
     In short, ABC says: “A misunderstanding and failure of communication has occurred in this matter.
     “On July 3, 2013, from 5:30 to 5:45 p.m., ABC went to the TUPD Uptown Campus Office to request an escort to the Reily Center to discuss a refund of unused days on his membership card. He was watched from across Quadrangle by an officer. From 4:45 to 6 p.m., he walked to the Reily Center and discussed refund procedure with a female employee named Lee at the Member Services Desk. Evidently, Tulane and the TUPD no longer view ABC as a threat to anyone on campus, thereby negating the need for the ‘restricted presence’ letter.
     “ABC had a meeting with Mr. Scott Schneider, Assistant General Counsel for Tulane on July 15, 2013 from at 2:30 p.m. He explained the above facts and laws to him and asked him to revoke the ‘Restricted Presence on Tulane University Campus’ Letter so that he could have unfettered access to the Tulane University campus equivalent to that enjoyed by any other alumni.”
     ABC claims that Schneider was sympathetic but said he would not reverse the “restricted presence” decision, though it might be rescinded “‘at some future point.'”
     ABC claims: “A year is long enough for ABC to suffer under the stigma of ‘restricted presence.’
     “ABC suffers anxiety, fear, nervousness, agitation and sleeplessness as a result of the ‘restricted presence’ letter. His symptoms mirror those of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He is under severe emotional distress as a result of defendants’ actions. He has extreme difficulty in concentrating on anything but the above events.”
     ABC says he cannot cross the Tulane campus now without the possibility of being arrested for trespass.
     He claims Tulane defamed, slandered and libeled him. “Over 110 person have knowledge, direct or constructive, of these events,” the complaint states. That includes 50 members of the Tulane police force at the uptown campus, and 55 at the downtown campus. “These people seem to believe the defendants’ version of events surrounding the ‘restricted presence’ letter,” the lawsuit states.
     “Furthermore, ABC ran for public office in early 2010. Defendants cannot prove an ‘absence of malice’ due to publication of the facts – even assuming them to be true – surrounding the issuance of the ‘restricted presence’ letter.”
     ABC seeks at least $2 million and “a writ of mandamus against the defendants ordering them to revoke the ‘restricted presence’ letter, an apology from all defendants, damages for emotional distress and damage to reputation.”
     He is represented by Stephen Chestnut of New Orleans.

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